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Digital Identity, Security & Online Fraud

Security alert: WannaCry hits 200,000 in at least 150 countries

Monday 15 May 2017 | 02:22 PM CET

The cyber-attack that occurred on Friday, May 12 has affected over 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries, according to Europol.

The virus has been named WannaCry and has been locking up computers in car factories, hospitals, shops and schools in several countries all over the world. The incident first debuted in UK, when the medical records of 26 million patients were involved in a major security breach amid warnings that the IT system used by thousands of GPs is not secure, according to The Telegraph.

The European Union's security experts say the attack was unique in that the ransomware was used in combination with “a worm functionality” so the infection spread automatically. Cybercriminals have demanded relatively small amounts – USD 300 rising to USD 600 – to unlock users’ computers, and while tracking this ransomware, the Europol has noticed that there have been few payments so far.

Currently, Europol and other agencies do not know who was behind the attack, but investigations still continue.

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